Was That Rain?

The sky was overcast this morning, accompanied with a light breeze then about noon it let a few drops fall from the sky; they could have been counted on one hand. Regardless it was a nice day to sit outside contemplating the fate of the world. It’s a bit out of my sphere of influence.

I’ve dug through the archives a variety caught my eye, the activity on the Slough is extremely slow. I’m placing blame on the 80 wildfires burning throughout the Western States. We’re not blanketed in heavy smoke but there is a haze, it doesn’t take very much to drive wildlife away; asthma sufferers feel it as well.

Gull over the slough 4

I like the reflection photos, this is one of my favorites taken October 2020. I prefer to post current pictures taken in the morning I write the blogs. I was able to take a few this morning but they were of the Canadians and an Egret. Due to the overcast I was experimenting with camera settings knowing most if not all would have to be deleted. True to form I deleted over 1/2 on the first pass, however when I got to the Canadians all except one was posting quality. I’m not posting them because the Geese only have so many positions while in the water, realistically they don’t do much. In flight is a horse of a different color, we don’t know what will take place in the air especially with a stiff wind.

I’m not sure if it’s my imagination or not but when I post pictures of Crows or Ravens I suspect people are not fond of them. When I post them visitors to the blog are reduced. I have a soft spot for them because they are survivors and are entertaining. Plus they are a challenge to capture a photo of in flight, the lighting has to be just right or they will appear as a black spot on a blue sky. From a distance it is often difficult to tell them from a Hawk or other large bird. Even when they fly alone, Crows are flockers Ravens are loners. We will see Ravens flying with another bird which is commonly their mate. However on occasion there is trouble in paradise, neither male nor female is completely faithful.

The Pelicans made a passover recently but they did not land as they were in the stratosphere visible only with my binoculars. I don’t know what makes me look that far skyward, it may be just a flash in my eye. They are big beautiful graceful birds common throughout any place near the Ocean. I was in Alameda Sunday near the estuary where Carrier Row used to be. The sky was full of them flying in formation I have long thought they looked like a formation of bombers searching for a target. They are interesting birds of which I have very limited knowledge, I need to study them if for nothing else than understanding some of their behaviors.

It’s much the same for the Cormorants, I have never really figured out why they pal with the Pelicans. A neighbor told me it’s for fishing, the Cormorants fish and the Pelicans steal them. I’ve mentioned this previous in this blog, why do the smaller birds continue to serve them? All I can figure (that’s bad English but a bit of spice is nice), is there are so many Cormorants evolution has kind of left them out of the mix. Most of us have likely seen the Oriental fishermen using them with a rope tied around their neck sending them into the water to emerge with a fish in its gullet. It seems a bit cruel to me but what do I know; I am unable to change a Culture 6,000 miles away. It doesn’t appear to harm the bird, (too much). I read an article about hunting with Eagles in Northern China, the old Mongolia. The man captures the Eagle soon after it is hatched then spends 5 years training it to hunt. The bird hunts for 5 years then his human partner releases him into the wild. It makes me wonder if the Cormorant fishermen do something of the same order. Another research project, I’ll start right after I finish reading the pile of books I received for my birthday. I am able to read a book and listen to an Audio book at the same time, it’s easy, however I am unable to remember either one of them when I’m finished.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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